Despite being a prominent participant in House GOP-led investigations and a well-known ally of former President Donald Trump, Rep. Jim Jordan failed in his first try on Tuesday to become the next speaker of the House.
Jordan, who has been a member of Congress since 2007, is the chairman of the influential House Judiciary Committee and was backed by Trump in his candidature for the speakership. His reputation as a conservative agitator is well-established, and he was instrumental in establishing the House Freedom Caucus.
Jordan is not only the head of the Judiciary Committee, but also of a special committee investigating the “weaponization” of the federal government. McCarthy stated that House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer will be in charge of the GOP’s investigation into President Joe Biden’s possible impeachment, working closely with Jordan in his role as Judiciary Committee chair and Jason Smith in his role as Ways and Means Committee chair.
Democrats have accused Jordan of being a hyper-partisan Trump defender and of using his perch to shield the former president in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election, while Republicans have defended their investigations as essential to informing the American public and ensuring accountability.
While Democrats refer to Jordan’s oversight of important House GOP investigations, they also highlight the fact that he refused to testify before a House select committee looking into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, despite being subpoenaed to do so.
On January 6, when Congress convened to verify Joe Biden’s presidential election, both Jordan and Scalise voted against ratifying the results of the electoral college.
Jordan has dismissed worries from more centrist Republicans that he is too conservative for the party’s platform.
I see us as a party of the center-right conservative ideology. I feel like I’m the right one to bring that together. According to an interview with AWN’s Manu Raju, Jordan said, “My politics are entirely consistent with where conservatives and Republicans across the country are.”
According to a study by AWN in 2020, six former Ohio State University wrestlers said they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct charges against team doctor Richard Strauss.
Jordan has refuted all allegations that he was aware of Strauss’ abuse during his time as an employee at OSU (1987–1995). During his time as an Ohio State coach, “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him,” according to a statement released by his congressional office in 2018.
First attempt to become speaker failed.
Only 200 people voted for Jordan on Tuesday, while 20 Republican voters went against him. In the House of Representatives, all 212 Democrats supported Majority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. The Ohio Republican still has a chance to compel more votes, as McCarthy did during the January vote count that went to 15 rounds.
Jordan competed against Louisiana’s Steve Scalise, the House majority leader, in an early primary election but lost in a conference-wide vote last week. After being the Republican Party’s choice for speaker, Scalise abruptly withdrew from the contest due to intense criticism.
In the days that followed, the House Republican Conference voted 124 to 81 to choose Jordan as the new speaker of the House. Scott had made a surprise run for the position. After losing to Scalise by a score of 113 to 99 in the previous ballot, Jordan managed to pick up only 25 new votes this time around.
In an effort to lessen his opposition, Jordan called for a second vote, this time asking members if they would support him on the floor. The vote was secret, and it was 152 to 55, so Jordan still has a long way to go before he can become speaker.
With the Ohio Republican addressing sceptical lawmakers one on one, Jordan and his allies have made substantial gain over the past several days, but there are still enough holdouts to imperil his drive for the speakership.